The plant and greenhouse industry is blooming! IBIS World reports $40 billion in 2015 sales, an enormous number with plenty of room to grow. The sales figures include stock, bedding and garden plants, sod, mushrooms, flowering foliage in pots, and many other products.
Of particularly good news for the budding entrepreneur who is intending to open a new operation is the fact the average horticulture operation has higher sales than the average U.S. farm. This is an industry ripe for innovation whether through the use of technology or through creative thinking. The first step towards startup is the development of a customized, professional plant nursery business plan.
Many Options for Entrepreneurs
People appreciate nice landscapes around homes, apartments, and commercial buildings. They want well-kept parks, nicely maintained natural preserves, and highways bordered with hardy sod and local wildflowers. As the green movement grows, there is also a demand for more products like native varieties which require less watering and care, and plants that offer other benefits like high oxygen production and soil anchoring. In other words, the entrepreneur who wants to start a commercial nursery or greenhouse has many options. The key is to develop an operation capable of generating revenue year round for maximum profitability. For example, the owner could sell spring, summer, and fall flowers and shrubs, pumpkins and fall varieties in October, and Christmas trees in December. These are the types of topics covered in the plant nursery business plan.
Factors to Consider for Startup
The nursery plant business plan will address the ”hows and whys” of the operation. It should include all information relevant to startup that will guide decision-making, keep the company on track to fulfill its mission, and entice investors or lenders. Typical company information includes:
- The experience level of the entrepreneur and other managers is critical because this is a highly specialized industry catering to well-defined markets. Whereas most consumers and commercial operations need paper, for example, the products sold by the operation are directed at a segmented market.
- The overall theme of the nursery will influence the product line. Will the nursery cater to customers who want native plants to create natural ecosystems, green products suitable for particular climate zones, a variety of landscaping items, and/or indoor foliage? Will other items be offered for sale too, like flower pots, garden tools and decorations, and fertilizers?
- Garden nurseries can be started in areas that are suitably zoned. The entrepreneur should demonstrate that land use regulations are researched and appropriate licenses obtained.
- The entrepreneur may need funding for land purchase and building and greenhouse construction. Nurseries need an irrigation system, storage buildings, heavy equipment for moving and delivering inventory, a warehouse, sales office, and so on. How much startup capital is needed? When is the nursery expected to start making a profit after accounting for costs?
- The status of local water supplies is a critical issue. What is the source of water? Are there permit requirements? Many areas are going through a drought and installation of efficient watering systems is mandatory.
- Who are the targeted customers? Will the nursery mostly sell to wholesale growers, landscapers, environmentalists, commercial enterprises, retail nurseries, or walk-in customers?
- What type of products will be sold? The options are unlimited and include perennial and annual flowers, shrubs, trees, sod, other products like Christmas trees, agricultural seed products, starter plants, maintenance supplies, and so on. Will plants be grown in containers or rootballed, or sold as bare root or a mixture of production methods? Will the operation deliver to the customers’ sites? If so, it is important to have the right type of delivery equipment available.
Writing for Success
These are a few of the topics covered in the enterprise proposal. Developing the project is a critical first step towards successful startup. The process ensures the entrepreneur has carefully thought through critical details. The finished document can also be used to support requests for funding or financing from private investors, financial institutions, and government agencies.
Start to End
OGS Capital consultants have many years of experience assisting others with the development of the garden nursery business plan. Consulting helps entrepreneurs address the many elements of starting a successful operation from site selection to inventory setup to marketing. Completing the simple online contact form is all it takes to start the process.
Download example plan nursery business plan pdf
Illustrative business plan samples
OGSCapital’s team has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs with top-rate business plan development, consultancy and analysis. They’ve helped thousands of SME owners secure more than $1.5 billion in funding, and they can do the same for you.